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What Nonprofits Taught Me About Social Media Marketing

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It’s no surprise that the coronavirus has caused either a spike or downfall for companies and marketers across the world. Times are scary for sure, not just from a global, economic and healthcare standpoint but as a marketer, it’s hard to know when and what to share. The news is overwhelming and you might even question if it’s okay to continue marketing when people and the economy are hurting. While sales will likely suffer (unless you’re lucky enough to be selling toilet paper, hand sanitizer or face masks), times like this can present an opportunity to increase brand awareness and present your company as one that strives to come alongside people during crisis. Increased brand awareness and building a customer base that knows and trusts you can result in loyal customers during and post pandemic.

I was sitting through a client call the other day brainstorming social strategies for an ecommerce business and realized a lot of their strategy was similar to what I learned in my previous career as a nonprofit professional. I worked in the nonprofit sector for 5 years prior to entering the digital marketing world and a lot of our marketing strategy was based off emotional appeal. This is because service-oriented nonprofits support people during times of struggle. People, specifically donors, enjoy the feeling of being able to make a difference. Successfully figuring out how to reach out to donors is one of the many duties of a nonprofit marketer. Little did I know the skills I learned in the nonprofit world would be relevant to digital marketers during trying times.

Here are some ways to put a positive spin on your ecommerce marketing techniques during these times of uncertainty. I’ve pulled some ads from my favorite brands to share how businesses are utilizing these techniques during times of crisis!

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1) Be Sympathetic – Most people don’t appreciate the person who cracks inappropriate jokes at the wrong time at the big family reunion. Don’t be that person. Don’t market images or services that go against social distancing or other protocols in place (Seriously, it will likely be disapproved anyways). Instead, consider messaging that supports your customers in a time of need. Brooks Running even encouraged their customers to support local running stores. This depicts that they’re a company who cares about more than just profit.

Brooks Ad Screenshot

2) Do Research On Your Industry- What are some trends, positive or negative within your industry? Be sure to utilize knowledge and data already present. No need to reinvent the wheel entirely!

3) Use Lighthearted Humor – While I absolutely don’t deny the severity of the current crisis, sometimes a bit of tasteful, light-hearted humor can score a win with your customers. Are you a fashion company? Perhaps poke fun at all the remote workers wearing sweatpants all day when working remotely. Are you a grocery delivery service? Then advertise being able to get groceries delivered without walking away from your refrigerator. Get creative with brainstorming fun ways to engage with your customers! Here, Barry’s Bootcamp is poking fun at the fact you don’t even need to change your wardrobe to workout.

Barrys Ad Screenshot

4) Interact With Your Customers – Intentionally interacting with your customers shows you care. While several businesses are likely too large to maintain this type of contact with customers, any kind of interaction with customers can be viewed positively! Comment on social media posts if possible and even feel free to go live with stories on Facebook or Instagram. If you’re selling products online, be sure to have stellar customer service or chat commerce. Internet usage is up, especially during times of social distancing so be sure to take advantage of this opportunity. Here, Kodiak Cakes is asking their followers what they eat for breakfast. This is a fun way to get to know your customers and engage with them on social media.

Kodiak Ad Screeshot

5) Giveaways & Stories – Who doesn’t like free stuff? Can your business afford to do giveaways in return for customers retweeting, commenting or sharing your posts? Not only will this result in a happy customer but it can also make brand awareness skyrocket. Can you offer free delivery for online orders with limited access to stores? Do you have positive testimonials of customers who love your product? Don’t be afraid to share that on social media. People will love it. Here, Nature’s Bakery is having a drawing for a month’s worth of snacks and a water bottle if people follow them and tag a friend.

Natures Bakery Ad Screenshot

6) Have A Clear Call To Action – This is probably one of the most important things to remember as a marketer. What do you want your customer to do? Don’t forget to include this in your messaging! One of the biggest mistakes you can make is successfully increasing brand awareness without prompting your customers to take action. Be sure to have clear, measurable KPIs and conversion actions in mind. Here, Mrs. Myers is telling customers to purchase their new scent for their cleaning products.

Mrs Myers Ad Screenshot

Wrapping it Up…

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In the nonprofit marketing world, it is best practice to split your content evenly into three areas – Appreciation, Advocacy & Appeals. While there are obvious disparities between nonprofits and businesses, not every post has to promote your product or service. It’s okay to add variety in moderation. Sometimes we need to courageously take a few steps back in order to move forward in the future. Below, you can see Starbucks sharing a story about one of their partners (employees) going above and beyond to serve a customer. Note how they don’t use every post to prompt customers to purchase but they also use posts as an opportunity to share stories.

Starbucks Ad Screenshot

People will remember your business for treating them with kindness during these times and this will likely result in returning or new customers. Be sure to have fun with your marketing! While businesses and nonprofits have their differences, I think there are a few practices from the nonprofit sector that businesses can learn from during trying times!

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Facebook fighting against disinformation: Launch new options

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Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has dismantled new malicious networks that used vaccine debates to harass professionals or sow division in some countries, a sign that disinformation about the pandemic, spread for political ends, is on the wane not.

“They insulted doctors, journalists and elected officials, calling them supporters of the Nazis because they were promoting vaccines against the Covid, ensuring that compulsory vaccination would lead to a dictatorship of health,” explained Mike Dvilyanski, director investigations into emerging threats, at a press conference on Wednesday.

He was referring to a network linked to an anti-vaccination movement called “V_V”, which the Californian group accuses of having carried out a campaign of intimidation and mass harassment in Italy and France, against health figures, media and politics.

The authors of this operation coordinated in particular via the Telegram messaging system, where the volunteers had access to lists of people to target and to “training” to avoid automatic detection by Facebook.

Their tactics included leaving comments under victims’ messages rather than posting content, and using slightly changed spellings like “vaxcinati” instead of “vaccinati”, meaning “people vaccinated” in Italian.

The social media giant said it was difficult to assess the reach and impact of the campaign, which took place across different platforms.

This is a “psychological war” against people in favor of vaccines, according to Graphika, a company specializing in the analysis of social networks, which published Wednesday a report on the movement “V_V”, whose name comes from the Italian verb “vivere” (“to live”).

“We have observed what appears to be a sprawling populist movement that combines existing conspiratorial theories with anti-authoritarian narratives, and a torrent of health disinformation,” experts detail.

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They estimate that “V_V” brings together some 20,000 supporters, some of whom have taken part in acts of vandalism against hospitals and operations to interfere with vaccinations, by making medical appointments without honoring them, for example.

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Change on Facebook

Facebook announces news that will facilitate your sales and purchases on the social network.

Mark Zuckerberg, the boss of Facebook, announced that the parent company would now be called Meta, to better represent all of its activities, from social networks to virtual reality, but the names of the different services will remain unchanged. A month later, Meta is already announcing news for the social network.

The first is the launch of online stores in Facebook groups. A “Shop” tab will appear and will allow members to buy products directly through the group in question.

Other features have been communicated with the aim of facilitating e-commerce within the social network, such as the display of recommendations and a better mention of products or even Live Shopping. At this time, no date has been announced regarding the launch of these new options.

In the light of recent features, the company wants to know the feedback from its users through the survey same like what Tesco doing to get its customers feedback via Tesco Views Survey. However, the company is still about this feedback will announce sooner than later in this regard.

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